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Animal pollination increases stability of crop yield across spatial scales

Bishop, J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2114-230X, Garratt, M. P. D. and Nakagawa, S. (2022) Animal pollination increases stability of crop yield across spatial scales. Ecology Letters. ISSN 1461-0248

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ele.14069

Abstract/Summary

The benefits of animal-pollination to crop yield are well known. In contrast, the effects of animal-pollination on the spatial or temporal stability (the opposite of variability) of crop yield remain poorly understood. We use meta-analysis to combine variability information from 215 experimental comparisons between animal-pollinated and wind- or self-pollinated control plants in apple, oilseed rape and faba bean. Animal-pollination increased yield stability (by an average 32% per unit of yield) at between-flower, plant, plot and field scales. Evidence suggests this occurs because yield benefits of animal-pollination become progressively constrained closer to the maximum potential yield in a given context, causing clustering. The increase in yield stability with animal-pollination is greatest when yield benefits of animal-pollination are greatest, indicating that managing crop pollination to increase yield also increases yield stability. These additional pollination benefits have not yet been included in economic assessments but provide further justification for policies to protect pollinators.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:105691
Publisher:Wiley

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